Listen to the live interview Episode #460 Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax: http://tobtr.com/9952537
GETTING TO KNOW RONNIE WHITE
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
It was born as a raw and uncoated autobiography and it explores the dark side of human personality. As for most of my songs, the lyrics happened in the space of about 5 to 10 minutes. To me writing is almost a urge. It always happens so fast. I feel the impulse to grab my notepad and then it’s like something possesses me and I start writing and rhyming and it feels like letting all the heavy and deep thoughts out.
It’s very liberating. Demons is my way of being honest to the world. When I sing it I feel naked and fragile, because of the very nature of what I say. To me music is about connecting and I want the listener to understand I am not some sort of idealized rock-hard creature. I am made of flaws; I sport scars, formed through the years. It’s a necessary collection of “mementos” that reminds me of the paths I chose to walk and the sacrifices I made to get to this point, where now I have the courage to get on a stage and tell a story. And the mere fact you believe your story is worth telling and that people could relate to what you are saying and feel like they are not alone in their journey of self-conflict, self-discovery and self acceptance is a massive drive for me. It’ s being selfless and fragile and true to yourself and your audience. No matter what. And it’s so damn hard to do this. So I let my lyrics speak for me.
I have always been a bit of a misfit, and whilst I enjoy a multitude of genres, I never associated myself with a single one. So it’s not surprising I am not able to ever answer the question “what genre does your music belong to?”. At the moment I mash mellow synth melodies, splicing them together with the heavy drums and the Hard-Rock/Heavy Metal guitar strumming. I guess in this debut album I somehow created a style which is strongly influenced by iconic bands such as Iron Maiden, Placebo and Muse, maybe because these are the sounds that came to mind when I was in the making of it. Even so, it’s like I chucked softer melodies and heavy rock elements and I blended them all. Like a musical bittersweet smoothie! However, even if the songs are varied and dynamic, they all are emotionally connected, much like paragraphs of the same story, which is the idea behind this specific EP, Pandora’s Box.
Getting to this point, developing my own style, bringing together all the sounds and influences I wanted to, took time and a lot of work! While my debut single, ‘Temple’ has a warmer touch to it, with smoother electronic sounds and a more uplifting message of acceptance, ‘Demons’ is a blunt wave of honesty. Not all of my lyrics are so heavy and dense. It’s always a balance. However, what I aim to do with my songs is to send a strong message of self-empowerment. If we really desire something, then hitting a wall won’t finish us. Hitting two, twenty, a thousand walls won’t finish us, long as we know what we aim for is worth the pain. I believe we can become the best version of ourselves. But nobody said it would be easy. I hope that people that listen to my story (because that’s what it is, really), will feel motivated to kick serious ass to chase their goals and their dreams and never believe that being different of more sensitive than the masses is a fault or a flaw. It’s not.
I currently live in London, UK…
There’s so much to say about the British music scene, we could be here for hours and hours. I moved here almost six years ago, after travelling for work and living in a few different countries, such as Sweden, Japan and the US.
Whilst every city has its own unique vibe, to me London is the ideal place for aspiring artists. We have a huge Indie tradition, and the city seems to be the breeding ground for fresh, talented bands and solo artists. Open mics and gigs are teaming with the most amazing people, many of whom have become friends and some too I have collaborated with to help develop and create our own sounds.
To be part of this scene is inspirational and pushes you to get out there even more! On top of this, the UK has a musical heritage that few can match. Musicians that have stood the test of time – they have been elevated from being ‘hits’, to ‘legends’.
Queen, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Iron Maiden, Muse, Placebo … the list is seemingly endless. This part of the British music culture is just as inspiring. I live just a few minutes from Abbey Road Studios, and everyday ‘that’ pedestrian crossing is full of people waving cars to go by, as they’re not waiting to cross – they want a picture, to emulate The Beatles, to stand where John Lennon stood, and just for a second enact that ionic moment. It’s simple, but to me it just goes to show, that music, even that created 50 years ago, can inspire, can transcend through the generations and still bring joy to people… what more could you want?!
As for places to go, well, it depends what sort of mood you’re in! I’d certainly advise going to see an Opera at the Royal Opera House, where the best singers perform on a regular basis. If that’s not your “cuppa tea”, then why not venture to more modern venues, such as the Roundhouse in Camden, or the Jazz after Dark in Soho (where Amy Winehouse used to perform). Ronnie Scott is the place to be if you want to have the ultimate Jazz experience. I could go on a while longer, but I’d just say get around and go to any good pub in town, to find a live bands performing. That’s how you get to discover some of the best music acts around.
It’s hard work – but I love it. As an aspiring artist there’s a lot of tough days and squeezing in the time is not always so easy. The dream is to be able to devote 100% of my time and energy to my art and I am working hard towards this goal, which, I am well aware, is not an easy one at all! You have to grow and develop a thick skin as you go along, as you will get knocked back on occasion and when that happens, mostly at the beginning, it makes you question your value as an artist. But, that said, the good days are great days. The days when I get to play my music to people and connect with them… that’s what really motivates me to do what I do and I’m planning on going for as long as there will be people supporting me to do so. If all else fails, I guess I’ll just keep playing for myself and my closest circle (they don’t get a choice! ;P )
There are so many artists I’d love to meet ,and even more who sadly aren’t with us anymore. But in saying all this, I would love to get the opportunity to meet Malala Yousafzai, the young girl who was left for dead by the Taliban for wanting to attend school in Pakistan. I think she is incredible!
She’s become a figurehead to challenge the status quo, and inspires girls around the world. All too often it is easy to become numbed, and apathetic to what happens behind our tv screens and we forget about how much sacrifice it takes to actually make a dent. So she is a young and inspirational woman worth having at least 5 minutes and a coffee with!